Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
We had another good day here at Winter Park. The weather has been terrific throughout this week. I think it really helped us in our preparation. We had a good week of practice. Today was our first time doing a Friday in-season type practice and the guys handled it well. Hopefully we will go out and play well based off of the way we prepared. I really feel good about the way guys have worked throughout the week. They have had good attitudes and the work ethic has been very, very good. Injury wise, we are probably going to end up leaving Jarius (Wright) here. He has passed the NFL protocol test that is required, but we are going to not have him participate in this ball game.
Q: Erin Henderson will play Sunday then?
A: He will play.
Q: Did he just have soreness today?
A: Yes, so we just decided to hold him back.
Q: Will you take any precautions with him on Sunday, or will you let him loose?
A: He is a full go, unless he tells us that it is bothering him. But we think at this point he will be a full go.
A: Just continuing to progress as a young wide receiver in our league. He will get a number of opportunities. We had that in the plans anyway. It will be just a little more action for him, and we will just watch him keep progressing.
Q: How has he been in terms of grasping the whole playbook? In other words, can he understand a lot of different concepts or are you just keeping things simple with him?
A: He has done very well when it comes to learning our offense. I think last week he had zero mental errors, so that was great. For his second opportunity in an NFL game and to come up with the large number of snaps that he had, and not make a mistake, that was very encouraging to all of us. He has done very well with adapting and adjusting to our offense. We have not had to put together just a ‘Cordarrelle package.’ He has been able to adjust to everything that we have put in up to this point.
Q: How much do you follow the Vikings new stadium news?
A: Very little. With the shelf life in our business, very little.
Q: How do you sort through in the next week how many players you want to keep at each position with the first cut day looming?
A: We actually had a discussion about it last night as a staff along with Rick and the scouts as well. We will have another discussion, as you know, after the ballgame on Sunday. But it is something that you will have to do during this time of the year. We have to cut down officially on this coming Tuesday. But we will discuss it ongoing with the amount of repetitions we give guys in this ball game and the plan for the last preseason game. But a lot of discussion of who we need to see, how many snaps we need to see them, but yet you’re trying to balance what you need to get out of your starters in this ballgame as well.
Q: Your first offense will play for at least the first half?
A: We will play our first offense, and our first defense, through the first half. We plan on bringing them out to kick off the third quarter as well.
Q: What is your plan with
A: We have discussed that with Adrian and discussed that with our offensive staff, and they have a good feel on how we are going to handle that.
Q: He has historically been a double-digit carry in the third preseason game, is that realistic in this game on Sunday?
A: We’ve got some things in place for him and we will see how it goes as the game goes on. But he has had a great training camp for us, and he was worked very hard while preparing himself. We will see how it goes as the game goes on.
Q: What was going on with Adrian wearing a red quarterback jersey at the beginning of practice?
A: I was teasing him, I said, “let’s see if you can catch routes”, as he was in the offensive receivers line. I wanted to see if he could throw the ball as well as our quarterback and see if our quarterback could run as well he can run, so just having a little fun but glad to see him switch back to 28 as practice went to.
Q: So he’s not quite in the mix to play quarterback?
A: Not quite in the mix for that yet, no.
Q: Who is closer to doing each other’s job, Adrian or Christian?
A: That Adrian, now he is a pretty good athlete. There aren’t many things that he cannot do. He is always talking to me about going and blocking a field goal, returning kickoffs, “Coach, I can be a great punt returner, let me come off the edge on defense. What tackle is going to be able to block me coming off the edge?” There aren’t many things he thinks he can’t do on the football field.
Q: Do you think it’s crucial for
A: I don’t know if crucial is the word that I would use, but it is important for our entire team to go out and have some success as we are preparing for the regular season. There are certain benchmarks as a staff that we would like to see our guys achieve. Coming off that field on Sunday night you want to come off with some confidence about where you are at certain areas. So there are some benchmarks that we have in place for everybody.
Q: How do you see the battle for the third running back shaking out?
A: It is a good competition between those guys.
Q: How much does the ability to be a swing fullback as well as play tailback play into the decision?
A: It factors in but another part is special teams. We need a guy who can help us on special teams as well. We don’t necessarily use a third guy as a specialist receiver, or for screen passes, we utilize them in different areas. Having that swing ability or being able to play some fullback, or be a tailback, but yet can help us on special teams, all that goes into the equation.
Q: How much progress have you seen from
A: I think that he has made tremendous progress. He still has a lot of work to do when you consider the amount of time he’s has spent at the position. He has made a lot of progress, and we are going to keep giving him opportunities in ball games just to try to ascertain how much farther he will jump. He has done well in the amount of time that he has been there.
Q: Does the ability for Joe to play QB in emergency situations help him at all on making the team?
A: No, not really a factor. It is more about can we determine that he has the ability to play as a good wide receiver and be one of the guys that we count on at that position.
Q: Where have you seen
A: I think just seeing him calm down a little bit. Sometimes he can get so hyper about what he’s trying to get done that he begins to overthink things and he’s begun to relax a little bit, and part of that is we put him in a lot of different situations in practice, trying to get him in some situations in games as well, so it is not the first time he sees things when we line up in Detroit. I think just the fact that he has slowed down mentally and begun to relax a little bit as a player is probably where the growth has come the most.